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When Celebrating

My New Year's Eve was spent at work. It wasn't bad; there was a spirit of festivities, we got to dress up in formal wear, and for the most part everyone was happy. We handed out hats, crowns, beads, and horns to our customers, and it was a fun evening at work. It wasn't until I got home that I realized something.

All these party goodies are probably going to get thrown away.

While the hat is cardboard, and I can toss it in the recycling bin, the horn and beads are not. These New Year's goodies are cheap, fun, and festive, but they're definitly not green. Using all the energy and materials necessary to make and distribute them, just to be used one night?
Sure, just one strand of beads, one hat, and one horn, aren't that much, but when everybody has just one it's not 'just one' anymore. With over 600 customers, we gave out a LOT of party goodies. As the person in charge of handing them out, I really got to see them add up.
But no one wants to be a downer when celebrating, so I'm not going to tell you not to take the fun party do-dads (it would be hypocritical, considering I took them), but I am going to ask you to stop a minute and think before you do. Like I wish I had.

Here are some green celebration ideas to think about before grabbing brand new party swag:

  • Have a strand or two of silver mardi gras beads in your jewelry box, and wear them when you have celebrating to do! Sure, they're usually free, but they still cost the environment. Besides, silver works for just about every holiday! 
  • Is it more fun to blow a horn, or just scream when it turns midnight? That's up to you, but keep in mind that yelling 'WOOOOOOOOOOOO!' isn't any more annoying than the sounds disposable horns make. 
  • Instead of grabbing a new paper crown or top hat, why not get a nice one to wear and reuse? Last night, I saw two women come in wearing their own tiaras. It was just as festive as the ones we were handing out. 
  • Of course, another option is to just reuse the same hat from last year. If you like it, have a place to store it, and it doesn't have the year on it, why not? That's what I'm going to do. Besides, this one looks totally cute on me. See? 


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